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Jack in the Box Testing Grilled Quesadillas

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Jack in the Box, which hasn’t added a new full-size burger in more than a year, apparently is focusing on the Mexican-foods side of its menu in evaluating new products. Currently in test is a product called Quesadilla Grillers, grilled quesadillas that are served with a side of “fire-grilled salsa,” according to test-market advertising (now pulled from public view) for the product.

Jack in the Box DVP-Corporate Communications Brian Luscomb confirmed that Quesadilla Grillers—offered in Southwest Chicken and Cheesy Chicken varieties—are in test, but he declined to provide additional information, such as test markets or menu price.

Earlier this month, Jack in the Box added a Chorizo Sausage Breakfast Burrito and in January it rolled out Taco Nachos. In-between, the San Diego-based chain added Mini Buffalo Ranch Chicken sandwiches (in June) and Mini Sirloin Burgers (March). Its last full-size burger addition came in July 2008 when the limited-time Nacho Cheese Burger briefly joined the menu. The Sirloin Burger added in 2007 was the last permanent-menu burger addition.

Jack in the Box likes category-unique, unexpected menu additions, and the TV commercial for Quesadilla Grillers plays off that idea. An elderly couple in Snuggies who say they like McDonald’s fish sandwich but not surprises are told by Jack they’re not going to like his new menu item.

Jack in the Box also seeks to straddle the restaurant business’s burger/Mexican border so that it appeals to fans of both QSR categories. None of its major burger competitors currently offers a quesadilla, although Carl’s Jr. tried a Breakfast Quesadilla a few years ago. Taco Bell and others have quesadillas, of course, but not mini burgers. Advantage Jack.

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